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Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for Children

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery for Children

If your child experiences any kind of serious injury or a congenital condition of the skull or face, including rare craniofacial conditions, you can move from heartbreak to hope with skilled plastic and reconstructive surgery services from Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health's expert and welcoming surgical team in Oklahoma City.

Expert Pediatric Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Care

At Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health, you and your child work with Oklahoma’s only comprehensive team of surgical specialists who treat pediatric cleft and craniofacial conditions, including unique situations, to restore as much function as possible and improve confidence and quality of life. Because hundreds of health conditions associated with all parts of the body may affect the craniofacial area, you want a comprehensive, multidisciplinary team that can review and evaluate all aspects of your child’s situation and develop a path to wholeness.

As you join our team of dedicated professionals, you’ll collaborate to develop an individualized treatment plan that fits your child’s specific circumstances. And you can take advantage of your care team’s extensive expertise in all aspects of pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as the groundbreaking research and advanced treatments that come from Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health’s craniofacial imaging research center, one of only a few such facilities in the world.

Pediatric Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Services

Plastic and reconstructive surgery can make a big difference in your child’s health and quality of life now and in the future. No matter what age, injury or craniofacial condition, your child can benefit from OU Health’s highly skilled pediatric reconstructive surgeons and specialized surgical services, including:

  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair – Primary and secondary repair of cleft lip and cleft palate; maxillary and mandibular surgery; alveolar bone grafting
  • Congenital corrections – Microtia; external ear abnormalities; Crouzon syndrome (branchial cleft abnormalities)
  • Facial and skull surgery – Complex craniofacial syndromes such as craniosynostosis and hemifacial microsomia; congenital asymmetry of the face (plagiocephaly, Tessier facial cleft); distraction osteogenesis for small upper and lower jaw and Pierre Robin sequence/syndrome
  • Nose surgery – Rhinoplasty for obstructive sleep apnea and other conditions
  • Speech disorder correction – Pharyngeal flap repair and pharyngoplasty for velopharyngeal incompetence

Learn more about Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health’s surgery services for children.

Innovative Care for Children with Cleft

Find the hope of a bright future for your child born with cleft lip or palate through Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health’s Hospital’s Cleft Lip & Palate Program, successfully serving Oklahoma and the surrounding region since 1977. You’ll work with a team of specially trained pediatric reconstructive surgeons at Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health who collaborate with you to develop a personalized plan to treat your child’s specific condition.

You benefit from the education you receive about your child’s situation, as well as guidance through all stages of treatment to help you understand the merits and risks involved with any recommended procedures.

Supporting Your Child from Birth through Adolescence

As your Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health’s Hospital’s cleft / craniofacial team delivers expert care from birth through teen years, your child develops greater confidence, improved appearance, better dental health, better social skills, and improved speech and hearing.

The process begins with a thorough evaluation that includes several recommended tests. Your doctor will let you know what to expect during your child’s tests:

Pediatric Surgical Procedures for Cleft

Depending on the type of cleft and your child’s age or stage of life, your child may need one or more surgical procedures to improve the condition. Your OU Health pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery team may recommend options such as:

  • Alveolar bone graft
  • Primary bilateral lip repair
  • Primary lip repair
  • Primary palate repair
  • Velopharyngeal incompetence repair

As your child’s needs change with age, you can return to this page for more information about the stages of children with cleft and how your OU Health care team can help.


Immediately after birth, your child may have difficulties feeding. Options for feeding include various types of bottles, such as the Haberman Bottle or the Dr. Brown Specialty Feeder, and specially formed nipples, such as the pigeon nipple. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations to accommodate changes during your child’s first year of life.

Typically, your OU Health surgeon repairs your child’s cleft lip at 10 weeks of age and repairs your child’s palate at around 10 months of age. In some cases, your doctor may recommend pre-surgical orthopedic appliances or pre-surgical orthodontic appliances.


Your child’s expert team of craniofacial specialists monitors your toddler’s physical development and hearing throughout their preschool years, generally at yearly check-ups. Often, your child’s condition won’t require a surgical procedure during this time except, perhaps, for bilateral cleft lip palate.


Your OU Health care team continues to monitor your child’s development and hearing during school years. If your child lives with alveolar cleft, your physician may recommend an alveolar bone graft. To reduce nasal-sounding speech, your child may need surgery for velopharyngeal incompetence.


At this important time of life, your child’s psychosocial and psychological health, as well as speech or dental changes, may require consultation and cosmetic procedures from your OU Health team of pediatric craniofacial professionals. Your teen may need to wear braces (orthodontics) or need jaw (orthognathic) surgery to correct dental and jaw problems caused by the cleft.

Research & Clinical Trials

Ask your physician about participating in a research trial if your child’s situation relates to ongoing plastic surgery-related projects at OU Health. Topics include congenital anomalies, cancer reconstruction, cosmetic surgery, cleft and craniosynostosis conditions, virtual surgery, augmented reality, advanced imaging and 3D printing.

Your Pediatric Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Care Team

When you choose Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health, you’ll collaborate with our skilled pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeons who also serve as members of the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center faculty and bring their hands-on fellowship specialty training and plastic surgery residency experience to your care.

That means you benefit from their extensive expertise, which translates into the highest level of pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery services and treatments in Oklahoma and the surrounding region.

  • The Cleft and Craniofacial Center, busiest in the region and led by of one of the most experienced surgeons in the country for management of pediatric cleft and craniofacial issues, includes the only comprehensive multidisciplinary group of specialized physicians in Oklahoma.
  • Our plastic surgery team interacts with every healthcare service at OU Health to aid reconstruction of the most complex situations.

Your child’s multidisciplinary cleft / craniofacial team may include pediatric plastic surgeons, neurosurgeons, otolaryngologists, dentists, geneticists, speech-language pathologists and other healthcare specialists.

Request an Appointment

Find out more about pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery at Oklahoma Children's Hospital OU Health in Oklahoma City to treat your child’s injury or congenital condition such as cleft lip or palate.

Ask your doctor for a referral or request an appointment by calling (405) 271-4357.